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A new dawn for Information Ministry



Governor Mutfwang score card on Information


THE journey began on May 29th, 2023 after a rigorous process of electioneering, the election itself and the attendant distractions that followed the declaration of Barr. Caleb Mutfwang as executive governor of Plateau State. One year after, the steps taken and the progress made so far indicate the single-mindedness of the governor and the clarity of the vision behind the successes recorded.

Guided by the Seven Focal Points of what is called the Green Cap Policy Thrust, the administration has engineered a turn-around in various sectors with concomitant improvement in services delivered. And, realizing the critical role of the civil service as the engine room of government, the Mutfwang-led administration has made this key component of government an area of priority, injecting in it a new lease of life and carrying it along as it unfolds its development agenda.

Among the organs of government driving the agenda of government is, of course, the Ministry of Information and Communication, established with the primary mandate of enlightenment, education and information. Although the ministry has over the years assumed different nomenclatures in accordance with the needs of successive administrations, it has not lost sight of its primary functions.

Made up of eight departments, the ministry also monitors and coordinates activities of its agencies namely, Plateau Publishing Corporation (PPC), the Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC), the Library Board and the Plateau Printing Press (PPP). Furthermore, it liaises with all media outfits and related bodies within and outside the state with a view to promoting the image of government and the state in general.

Like other organs of government in the state, however, the ministry in the past never really lived up to its billing because of dwindling fortunes. With a new administration in place, the story has no doubt begun to change.

At the head of the ministry is Mr. Musa Ibrahim Ashoms, who, as Honorable Commissioner, is charting a new course, and raising the bar in terms of projecting the state and government through disseminating timely and accurate information to the public, promoting transparency and accountability within the government, and enhancing communication channels with the citizens.

Under the commissioner’s watch, the ministry has regained its role as a central hub for managing public relations, media relations, and government communications. Hence, there is improved co-ordination and implementation of communication strategies, campaigns, and initiatives to keep the public informed about government policies, programs, and activities. Additionally, the Ministry has ensured digital presence, fostering effective use of technology and online platforms to reach wider audience and engage with the public.

As the image maker of the state, the renewed zeal and commitment of the ministry’s staff has positioned it to leverage on the magnanimity, benevolence and drive for excellence of the present leadership of the state. And this has fostered mutual understanding, trust, and participation in the governance process.

Furthermore, the ministry has continued to utilize the opportunities created by emerging trends in the ICT sector. Therefore, it has striven to keep pace with these trends. Aside positioning its staff for the new tasks that the information ministry faces in the new era, it has established a strong digital presence on the following platforms: Facebook, X, YouTube, and Instagram. This is its strategy to reach a wider audience and to also enhance communication, streaming processes and effect positive behavioral change and good governance.

The ministry has also recorded increased collaboration with media outfits, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to amplify key messages, expand outreach, and build strong relationships that support its communication efforts.

It is worthy of note that the morale of the workforce in the ministry is at an all-time high because of the priority the present leadership of the ministry accords its staff which has impacted positively on productivity. This singular act has ensured the resolve of the staff to work harder towards increasing public awareness,     engagement, building trust, and effectiveness of communication strategies in meeting the needs of both government and citizens.

Other achievements of the ministry include the resuscitation of four fully equipped public awareness vehicles, known as the Cine-Rover vans. These vehicles were previously non-operational, having been grounded for many years. However, in view of their indispensability in the whole gamut of plans for the resurgence of the ministry, they have now been refurbished and ready for disseminating information across the 17 local government areas of the state.

So also, the Ministry has continued to strengthen its collaboration with media organizations. For instance, it has entered into retainership arrangements with a number of media organizations to ensure a wide coverage of the state as well as expand the reach of the Plateau story. At the same time, it has paid a balance of retainership fees inherited from the immediate past administration.

In the same vein, milestones have also been recorded in the agencies of the ministry such as the gradual improvement in the content of The Nigeria Standard newspaper even as plans are underway to engender major leaps in its operations.

At the Plateau Radio Television Corporation, solar lights have been provided, and this has improved the security situation at the broadcast outfit, particularly the administrative headquarters and the Rayfield station. So also, staff welfare has been prioritized as promotion has been effected for staff due in 2021 and 2022.

Another major development at the PRTVC is that the station is now live on Radio Garden, and this has placed the corporation on a world map where it is accessed globally. Furthermore, the corporation’s website is fully functional and efforts are ongoing to enable the TV live stream via its website,

For a ministry that was practically inactive before this administration came on board, there is indeed, a refreshing departure from the past. Yet, there are indications that this is just a tip of the iceberg as far as the resurgence of the state information machinery goes.

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